Agriculture Minister Gabriel Mbaïrobe recently clarified the circumstances in which Ethephon, a chemical found in certain pesticides, may be used. "Ethephon does not ripen plantain. It just gives a yellow color to the plantain skin, without the plantain ripening," Minader stated in a press release dated September 11. The fraudulent use of pesticides in general exposes people to chemical hazards (residues of pesticides, antibiotics, and veterinary medicines, heavy metals, mycotoxins, food additives, etc.)," he adds.
Conversely, the government official points out that Etephon is only authorized in the cultivation of certain foods. "Pesticides based on the active substance ethephon are only approved in Cameroon for pineapple and rubber cultivation," the release states. A decree issued on September 11 even sets the limits on pineapple and rubber crops.
A few months ago, the authorities warned of the use of chemicals, notably formalin, for the artificial ripening of certain foods. The government even announced a campaign to curb that harmful practice.